The Supreme Court of South Carolina

RE:  Amendment to Rule 402, SCACR.


Pursuant to Art. V, § 4 of the South Carolina Constitution, Rule 402(k), the Oath of Office for Attorneys, is amended to read as attached.  This Rule change is effective immediately and all attorneys in the State will be expected to take the amended oath.  Continuing Legal Education opportunities will be offered around the State to discuss the content of the new oath and to administer it to those who have already been admitted to the Bar.


s/Jean H. Toal                                    C.J.

s/James E. Moore                             J.

s/John H. Waller, Jr.                           J.

s/E.C. Burnett, III                                 J.

s/Costa M. Pleicones                        J.

Columbia, South Carolina
October 22, 2003

Lawyer’s Oath

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that:

I am duly qualified, according to the Constitution of this State, to exercise the duties of the office to which I have been appointed, and that I will, to the best of my ability, discharge those duties and will preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of this State and of the United States;

I will maintain the respect and courtesy due to courts of justice, judicial officers, and those who assist them;

To my clients, I pledge faithfulness, competence, diligence, good judgment and prompt communication;

To opposing parties and their counsel, I pledge fairness, integrity, and civility, not only in court, but also in all written and oral communications;

I will not pursue or maintain any suit or proceeding which appears to me to be unjust nor maintain any defenses except those I believe to be honestly debatable under the law of the land, but this obligation shall not prevent me from defending a person charged with a crime;

I will employ for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to me only such means as are consistent with trust and honor and the principles of professionalism, and will never seek to mislead an opposing party, the judge or jury by a false statement of fact or law;

I will respect and preserve inviolate the confidences of my clients, and will accept no compensation in connection with a client's business except from the client or with the client's knowledge and approval;

I will maintain the dignity of the legal system and advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which I am charged;

I will assist the defenseless or oppressed by ensuring that justice is available to all citizens and will not delay any person's cause for profit or malice;

[So help me God.]